IrishMalts Clonakilty Single Cask release – Sept 2020

Yesterday was a good day. I happened to be speaking with John Donovan, Owner of when he mentioned that their newest exclusive Clonakilty Single Cask was being launched soon. Excited much? Yes, I was. So much that he offered to allow me purchase one on pre release and I jumped at that chance. So with bottle in hand, I dived right in to try the latest release.

This blend of 2008 Malt and 2010 grain is bottled at 55.8% ABV after having sat in a Cognac cask for 2 years. I tried this before getting the press release and I was very happy to see that Clonakilty themselves commented on the cask. It must have been a good one. The flavours that have been imparted are excellent. So much so that after trying it I told John I was buying another one! Here’s my tasting notes, all of which were without water.

Nose – Really rich, refined nose. A hint of poached pear that is quickly brushed aside by milk chocolate, almonds and a touch of cedar.

Palate – Green apples and pear lead the palate but once again, that sweetness takes over revealing more chocolate, with some toffee and a slight black pepper spice.

Finish – Medium finish. Clove rock and butterscotch make an unusual but pleasant duo.

Overall – An exceptionally well balanced whiskey. The only downside of this blend is that, while it lingers nicely, the finish wasn’t as long as I expected. Outside of that, the palate delivered a mirror of the nose. The high ABV suits this blend perfectly, the result is a whiskey you could pour on your cornflakes.

Below is the official press release for the release and is available to purchase here.

EXCLUSIVE SINGLE CASK RELEASE SELECTED BY IRISHMALTS.COM are proud to partner once again with Clonakilty Distillery for the exclusive release of this Single Cask Cognac Finished Whiskey, bottled at Cask Strength. This cask yielded 265 bottles at 55.8%.

This is a premium blend of 2008 malt and 2010 grain originally aged in Bourbon before spending 22 months in a Cognac cask at Clonakilty’s Atlantic Ocean warehouse.

Clonakilty’s Master Distiller, Paul Corbett, was sorry to see this cask leave the rackhouse stating that it “was one of the best casks in their possession”. was founded by brothers Robert and John O’Donovan to support the rapidly growing Irish spirits business and already boasts a range of over 350 Irish whiskeys, gins and rums, focusing predominantly on independent bonders, blenders and distillers. founder John O’Donovan commented: “We are justly proud to release this Cask Strength whiskey exclusively to our loyal customer base. To collaborate with a distillery with Clonakilty’s vision has been very rewarding. To achieve a special bottling of this calibre after just two years in business is a testament to our vision to bring quality, new, exciting Irish whiskeys to the market.”

Clonakilty distillery was established in 2016 by Michael Scully. In March 2019 they opened a new €10 million distillery and visitor experience centre in the heart of Clonakilty town, on the Wild Atlantic Way. Shortly after, the distillery laid down their first casks filled with their own new make spirit. Speaking at the distillery, Michael Scully said: “Here at Clonakilty Distillery, we are always looking to innovate on small batches of premium sensory whiskeys. Hence why we are delighted to collaborate with once again. This special bottling of cask-strength whiskey spent 22 months finishing at our Atlantic Ocean warehouse in a Cognac cask. The result is something very unique that we are excited for the people to try.”

Official tasting notes:

Nose: Hot Chocolate, Nutella, Coconut and leather

Palate: Chocolate, cherries, dried fruits, honey, leather

Finish: Leather, dried dark fruits, oak spice, chewy toffee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: